Social justice, free market style


  • John Tomasi

    1. Professor of political science at Brown University, where he is also the founder and director of Brown's Political Theory Project. His new book Free Market Fairness is published by Princeton University Press.
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Challenging orthodoxy on both left and right, political theorist John Tomasi develops a new account of liberal justice – free market fairness – to show how limited government and the material betterment of the poor can be reconciled. In doing so, he asks the left to rethink their attitude towards private economic liberty.


  • 1

    Rawls J (1971) A Theory of Justice, Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press: 17.

  • 2

    Tomasi J (2012) Free Market Fairness, New York: Princeton University Press.

  • 3

    Available at 6.

  • 4

    Field F (1998) ‘What, Then, Was Unthinkable?’, Crucible (London: Board for Social Responsibility): 21.

  • 5

    I develop this idea in Free Market Fairness and in ‘Economic Liberty and Democratic Legitimacy’, Social Philosophy and Policy, 29(1): 5080.

  • 6

    Van Parijs P (2003) ‘Difference Principles’ in Freeman S (ed) The Cambridge Companion to Rawls, New York: Cambridge University Press: 200–240.

  • 7

    Samuel Freeman attributes a view like this to his teacher, John Rawls. See Freeman's path-breaking article ‘Capitalism in the Classical and High Liberal Traditions’, Social Philosophy and Policy, 28(2): 1955.